WASHINGTON (AFP) — The US Supreme Court on Wednesday upheld a lower court ruling that a law designed to shield children from pornography on the Internet violated the constitutional right to free speech.
The move by the highest court, which let the ruling stand without comment, would appear to mean the end of the road for the Child Online Protection Act (COPA), which was passed by Congress in 1998 but never enforced.
Rights groups welcomed the Supreme Court decision not to hear the Bush administration's appeal of the ban on COPA, with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) describing it as a "clear victory for free speech."
The ACLU has been among the groups which filed legal challenges to COPA on the grounds that it violated the First Amendment right to free speech.
"For over a decade the government has been trying to thwart freedom of speech on the Internet, and for years the courts have been finding the attempts unconstitutional," ACLU senior staff attorney Chris Hansen said Wednesday.
"It is not the role of the government to decide what people can see and do on the Internet," he said in a statement. "Those are personal decisions that should be made by individuals and their families."
January 21, 2009
U.S. Supreme Court Shuts Door on Child Online Protection Act
U.S. Supreme Court Shuts Door on Child Online Protection Act: